President Vaira Vie-Freiberg bestows the medal. Courtesy of Andrew Ezergailis
Latvia has awarded Andrew Ezergailis one of its highest national honors, the Three Star Order Cross. During an August ceremony in the capital city of Riga, President Vaira Vi e-Freiberga of Latvia personally bestowed the decoration on the retired IC history professor, citing his contributions to understanding the history of the country.
Author of several scholarly books on 20th-century Latvia, Ezergailis has focused on the Nazi occupation of Latvia during World War II, a history that until his scrutiny had been largely obscured.
Ezergailis’s groundbreaking 1996 book, The Holocaust in Latvia, 1941–1944: The Missing Center, followed 10 years of painstaking research. It was widely praised by fellow scholars. In a review at the time of publication, Aldis Purs of the University of Toronto wrote, “The book is, no doubt, the definitive account of the Holocaust in Latvia, and goes to considerable length to ‘cut through the obfuscation’ surrounding Nazi-occupied Latvia.”